In a season in which big players have invariably flattered to deceive, rather than signing a big name to calm the sting of Ronaldo’s exit, Florentino Perez’s biggest transaction was €45m for Vinicius Junior, a kid many people hadn’t heard of.
Someone who had never played in Europe, and wasn’t even close to breaking into the senior Brazil team. An investment in the future.
Vinicius was unveiled with a numberless shirt but that didn’t bother him, as he was confident of his chances “I will be staying with the first team of Real Madrid. I hadn’t noticed that my shirt doesn’t have a number, but I’ve come to play.” Signed as one of the world’s most expensive teenagers, yet largely ignored by coach Julen Lopetegui making only two brief substitute appearances: 12 minutes in total.
When Real traveled to Barcelona for the Clasico at the end of October, Vinicius was ruled out through suspension after picking up a red card with the youth team, Castilla. Madrid appealed and the decision was overturned, so he was named in the group, but cut from the matchday squad. With Lopetegui sacked and Santiago Solari appointed the future looked bright.
Santiago Solari knew the Brazilian well from their time together with the club’s youth team. And under the Argentine, Vinicius Junior has become a vital player for Real.
“My objective is to win more. I always want to be on top, and that is why I’ve chosen Real Madrid & I want to conquer more championships.”
At 9 years old, Vinicius attempted Futsal football on a permanent basis after, his attempt to convert to an academy football player failed for the first time on the basis that he had to wait until he was 10. He made his professional debut for Flamengo in 2017, few days after his debut at Flamengo increased his release clause to 45millions euros which was paid by Real Madrid.
… I know what my potential is, I know how far I can go. I only have to work a lot, carry on as I Have until now with Flamengo. I’m sure God will honour me.”
At 18-year-old, Vinicius Junior has quickly become one of the club’s key players under Santiago Solari, he is arguably one of Real Madrid’s best player at the moment. Though he was unveiled in a numberless jersey, His speed and dribbling ability has been a key part in Real’s recent winning run, while wearing Jersey No 28.
“…when he was just five and ever since he has always performed at a level way above the boys of his age,” said Cacau, a teacher at Escolinha Fla Sao Goncalo, the Flamengo-affiliated school that raised Vinicius.